Publisher: Zebra (Kensington) | Published: February 28, 2017 | Format: eBook (352 pages) and Paperback (352 pages) | ASIN: B01GBAG58S and ISBN: 9781420141542 | Series: Hope Chest of Dreams (Book #2) | Origin: NetGalley
ANNIE’S RECIPE by Lisa Jones Baker is an Amish tale where past and present meet to put a future into question! Can romance come from the ruins?
The practice of shunning is a disciplinary tactic, but these consequences may leave a community partially divided. However, the hardest hit will always be the children of those sanctioned.
A childhood ripping apart leaves scars.
We journey into the deepest point of view from happiest of times to a painstaking end as a wedding brings community and family together. Although, no one expects to see one cousin and former member, but Levi Miller brings a smile just for Annie Mast making her childhood seem only yesterday.
Her best friend from those younger years stands before her as an English man now. It is amazing that despite these differences, Levi is the same friend as before. He is kind, sweet, funny, and still protective of Annie. Their time-honored friendship did not suffer from ravages of time but rather from hardships associated with his parents, but their personal relationship is still an easy one.
However, as joyous as the earlier years were, those later years are shackled to his family’s heartbreak. His father is a shunned man pushing the family out of their community and out their lives.
Seeing Annie Mast swells Levi Miller’s heart, and their friendship is too easy to renew.
How can he care this much for Annie and at the same time be angry at the whole Amish community for their horrid betrayal? He was old enough to understand why they packed their things to leave without a goodbye, but he was too young to comprehend how punishments could be so cruel. His family is at peace with it all and doing well, but for Levi, his heart never mends.
As much as visiting his best friend is a balm for the past, their connection is growing to a place where it cannot survive.
He can’t stay inside this community, and she cannot leave.
Could this return leave Levi more brokenhearted than his leaving years ago? Will feelings become their own source of resentment? Can friendship ever become more?
***This opinion is my own.***
Inside ANNIE’S RECIPE, author Lisa Jones Baker brings dreams to life as circumstances move from good to bad!
Within ten years time, things change but another remains the same. Problems seem different in retrospect and harder to bridge as time moves along, but other issues come into play once the young grow up and life choices mean for life.
Returning to his former hometown, Levi Miller is an English man, and while his arrival is well received, his family would not be welcome here. His father was shunned from this Amish community. However, he is here for a cousin’s wedding and an informal type of closure to life that used to belong to him too. His early years brought him much joy and a faithful friend, but seeing Annie Mast all grown up is something he simply was not expecting.
Yet this youngster is now a woman and her personality is even more endearing.
Meanwhile, Annie Mast is sure that rumors already started. Her being with this friend years ago was not a problem, but today, it can very much become an issue inside her Amish community. His being English is not her only problem. Annie’s issue is that Levi Miller shows himself as just a grown up version of her sweet friend.
They have shared memories and a painful past colliding only to bloom!
Her parents worry she is falling away from her faith, but she is falling in love. Annie prays these emotions will go away. Can one prayer’s answer lead to a life-changing event?
On the other hand, is her faith being tested against the world?